Children and holidays do not a novelist make.

It is the last week of summer and though I do pine for the departed sun and growl at the chill in the air, I am craving the solitude of school term.

My daughter, three days back from camp, is already off again. But my eight year old son, my constant little companion of summer 2010, is still here.

We have had a wonderful time. We’ve played card games, word games, and lots of Top Trump Star Wars. Oh, yes we have: Han Solo, height: 1.8m, Dark Side: 6, Jedi powers: 4, Battle skills: 50, irritation factor: 1000.

Our love and devotion are wearing thin.

I’m now fighting with him, trying to convince him that he really does want to go to the map exhibition at the British Library.

Funny, he just doesn’t agree.

I have reached the making deals point. “You go with me to this, I take you to zoo on Thursday…”

He is underneath his bed covers at this point, having exhausted himself with a terminal bout of computer. He is still in his pj’s—yes, it’s noon–and driving a hard bargain. Basically not giving an inch. While I try to come up with ever more appealing treats.

“Another hour of computer when we get back.”

“Blockbusters, any dvd.”

“A big chocolate muffin.”

“Boring,” he wails.

Still, I’m not one of those who bemoans the pram in the hallway. Or in my case, the Wii in the living room.

I do feel that if it hadn’t been for my children, I probably wouldn’t be a published novelist today. When they came into my life, I suddenly got it. Got what made the world go round, the passions that fuel many a character. That mad crazy love combined with that equally mad crazy rage that accompanies the birth of children.

And it is that anger which races to my vocal cords and prompts me to bellow:

“Get your a** down here, pal, before I chew it off!”

And yup, that little pitter-patter of steps running down the stairs, really does make my heart sing….

photo by madamepsychosis (flickr)


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10 responses to “Children and holidays do not a novelist make.

  1. Any mother who denies that she occasionally fantasizes about mailing her children to their grandparents in a box while making it very clear that holes are a privilege and not a right . . . is only fooling herself.

    There. I said it.

    And having said it, I wouldn’t give them up for the world.

  2. ninakillham

    Hilarious, Sarah! Well put!

  3. One more day to go! That’s all I have to say…

  4. ninakillham

    I hear ya! I’m off to the park for the umpteenth time….

  5. ‘Tis a funny thing when you draw such inspiration from those moments of tenderness and poignancy from your children, their innocent comments that make your heart ache and want to write about WITHOUT THEM THERE!

  6. Nancy Hartman

    Thank you, Nina! I thought I was the only one. And Sarah W, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  7. ninakillham

    Hi, Nancy! So nice to see you here. Thanks for commenting!

  8. ninakillham

    Hey, Trisha, god, that made me laugh. Yes, I’m amazingly inspired WHEN THEY ARE NOT THERE!

  9. Lisa

    Nina – nobody could’ve put that into words the way you did!!! Loved that!

  10. Miranda Kemp

    Yes, we love them most when they’re ASLEEP!

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